[maemo-developers] Public maemo repository (plus Intro)

From: quim.gil at nokia.com quim.gil at nokia.com
Date: Sun Jul 22 02:51:39 EEST 2007
Hi Loïc,

> The first reason Nokia / Maemo might want to offer an 
>unstable  repository is quite certainly to ease developer 
>participation.  But I  think there are two things which you're 
>developing at the same time:
> - upstream development of some software (especially Hildon, misc N800
>   apps such as the embedded browser, some proprietary modules...)
> - the Maemo distribution(s) (its packaging, integration, themes and
>   branding...)
> These are quite different and while you're doing both at the 
>same time,  one might wonder which one of these you're looking 
>to open the  development of.

This is a very good point, and there is not a common answer for all the packages. Something we have to clarify is the feedback and contributions expected in each component. 

Some potential scenarios:

- Package A developed by Nokia and open source. Bugs and patches welcome.

- Package B developed by Nokia and closed source. Bugs welcome.

- Package C fully developed upstream and open source. Feedback and contributions to be done upstream, we inherit.

- Package D fully developed by some partner and closed source. Feedback where the partner decides.

- In the extras side: package E fully developed by a garage project and open source. Feedback, bugs and patches sent wherever it is agreed.

> if your goal 
> is to improve the development of the Hildon  stack, then 
> perhaps the important focus should be on moving to GNOME's  
> hosting infrastructure.

Hildon has started already its "upstreamization" and we have a compromise to complete. This is for real and will take a while to achieve it. On top of extracting the Hildon packages from the maemo context, we have to sort out deep changes like moving to GNOME's release cycle and sharing the development with others. 

If we ever have a non-stable distro, Hildon will be probably treated as a pure upstream project.

> You mention a "non-stable" (and not "unstable") repository: 
>perhaps you  already tickled the idea of having a 
>"testing"-style distribution?

I'm insisting in non-stable only because at this point there is not a clear idea whether it would be more suitable to have testing, unstable or both. How would this work in practice? Would it be more suitable to use this Debian approach or the GNOME/Ubuntu (n months to go from unstable to stable).

> Hmm I fail to see a huge difference here:

There is. I'll try to summarize the details another day.

>there's a  non-technical angle that will need to be addressed 
>as well:

Yes, I have insisted on the "human factors" of maintaining a distro and, in fact, I'm personally more concerned about them than about the code management itself.

> who do you  grant access to such an archive?  Will 
>the archive only be available  for Nokia folks to upload to, 
>or will anybody be able to join a new  uploaders community?  
>How will you select people who are allowed to  upload software 
>which will be built on your build daemons and which  will run 
>on the devices of the end-users/end-developers tracking the  
>unstable repo?

To be defined. I wouldn't expect radical changes in terms of ownership and control of packages and commits, but there is probably room for a positive evolution. It would be useful to look in detail how other companies (Canonical, RedHat, Novell, Sun...) are dealing with this.

>   IOW, are you interested in creating a new technical 
>distribution tool  fully handled by the same people currently 
>handling Maemo, or are you  interested in building a new 
>community with its processes, rules and  policies?

Mmm probably a combination of both. Nokia needs to handle the software that is officially supporting (main & restricted, so to say). The extras repository could be handled at a community level (it would be interesting to see this happening down-top).

Perhaps one day the community would be in a condition of creating an own flavour totally controlled at a community level and able to run in the tablets. I don't think Nokia would object as far as the core objective is fulfilled: a more powerful IT OS preinstalled and better releases/upgrades thanks to the collaboration between Nokia - community - 3rd parties around the distro.

PS: I'm starting short holidays and I will be away from keyboard. I hope in the meantime the developer call gets more feedback and points of view.

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